A former head of the army has called on the government to “think the previously unthinkable” and consider sending ground troops to combat Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Sir Richard Dannatt, the former chief of the general staff, said he felt air strikes had failed to stop the advance of the extremist organisation and urged parliament to debate deploying up to 5,000 infantry soldiers.
However, Dannatt’s call was immediately dismissed by Sajid Javid, the business secretary, who told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 that the crisis in Syria and Iraq was not a war on the ground for British troops.
Javid said: “Clearly the news we’ve had this week is very difficult and we need to see what more can be done in terms of providing the help we already are, both in terms of training or intelligence or equipment. But the answer to this is not going to be British troops on the ground.”